Africa Seminar: Quality Assurance or Neo-Imperialism? – University of Copenhagen

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Global Health > Open events > Archive 2013 > Africa Seminar: Qualit...

Africa Seminar: Quality Assurance or Neo-Imperialism?

By: Hanne Kirstine Adriansen (Department of Education, AU) and Lene Møller Madsen (Department of Science Education, KU)

Capacity building within higher educational institutions in Africa is gaining momentum and likewise the research field ‘international education and development’. This is the first seminar in a series concerning higher education in Africa where the following question is addressed: How can we make capacity building of higher education in developing countries without imposing a neo-imperialist agenda? This seminar provides a first attempt to answering the question by discussing the two scholars’ experiences of being part of the Danish Building Stronger Universities (BSU) capacity building project. Hanne Kirstine Adriansen and Lene Møller Madsen discuss this project’s role in a mainstreaming of academia despite the intention to do the opposite. Hence, the point that quality assurance can be made without imposing Western epistemology is addressed. The two scholars call for an appreciation of different knowledges instead of mainstreaming in the name of internationalisation and globalisation. Capacity building of higher education in developing countries should ensure a broader perspective of educational quality in order not to lose knowledge diversity and wisdom.

Hanne Kirstine Adriansen is associate professor at Department of Education, AU. She is trained as a human geographer and has extensive fieldwork experience from Africa, where she did her PhD-research among Fulani pastoralists in Senegal. While having an interest in local knowledge, she has also researched knowledge constructions among researchers at Danish universities. Her current research concerns the geography of higher education in developing countries.

Lene Møller Madsen is associate professor at Department of Science Education, KU. She holds a Ph.D. in geography and has published on the development of spatial thinking skills, academic integration of students, and how institutional cultures interact with researchers’ perceptions of fieldwork. She has undertaken a number of PhD training projects in West Africa in the last five years and she has an interest in the issue of becoming academic in a developing context.